Celebrities are constantly vying for a way to stay on people’s minds and, what better way to do it than with a selfie. Providing a free, instant and completely controlled way to help build their images, celebs send out a constant stream of their own images on Instagram and Twitter in an effort to keep their famous mugs out there. Some celebrities, such as Ricky Gervais, Ian Somerhalder and Ellen Degeneres use this platform to entertain as well as spread positive messages for animals and the issues they face. Then there are others who use it to take their pictures with animals in captivity, show off the exotic and sometimes illegal animals that they’ve chosen to obtain as “pets” or boast about the unethical animal centric excursions that they’re taking.

Whether it’s to make themselves seem like animal lovers or to seem more interesting, it usually accomplishes the opposite. Animals taken from their natural habitats and forced to participate in human centric activities are suffering. With the clout that celebrities have in popular culture, taking a selfie with an animal that is being forced to live in unnatural conditions for the entertainment of humans sends the wrong message to their legions of fans. It says that, if Justin Bieber can own a monkey or Khloe Kardashian can hit up the zoo then that must be a cool thing to do. We’re here to tell you, it’s not. So, what should these celebrities have taken selfies with instead? We had a few suggestions…

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Justin Bieber:  A capuchin monkey is not a baby, baby, baby-oh…

Wild animals are not pets. Meant to live in the wild, these animals have been obtained by dubious means at best and are being forced to live a life in captivity as opposed to their natural habitat, no matter how rich and famous the human who purchased them is. They’re kept for awhile and then, when either the novelty wears off or they become difficult to maintain upon reaching adolescence, the animals are uprooted again and forced to live in a zoo. This was exactly the case for Beiber’s capuchin monkey, Mally, who now lives in a German zoo after he was confiscated over improper paperwork. Seems like someone needs to teach the Biebs some responsibility…

Celebrity Selfies With Animals: Adorable or Exploitation?jezebel.com

Maybe Super Nanny could modify his behavior?

Celebrity Selfies With Animals: Adorable or Exploitation?

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Kim Kardashian:  Keeping up with tortured elephants isn’t a pretty picture…

Elephant tourism in Thailand is incredibly popular, with people paying to feed elephants, snap pictures with them and ride them around. These elephants are often ripped violently from their families and trained to follow commands, which involves beatings, starvation and deprivation of social interaction until they lose their free will. They’re kept in small, insufficient quarters and live out their lives not as wild and majestic animals, but as abused and traumatized playthings for people on vacation. If only there was someone to pose with that loves attention more than Kim does….

Celebrity Selfies With Animals: Adorable or Exploitation?popsugar.com

With the two of you vying for space in the shot, there’s not much room left for a captive animal anyway.

Celebrity Selfies With Animals: Adorable or Exploitation?

Lady Gaga: Instead of a bad romance with a pride of lions…

Safari parks often present a whole host of problems for the animals within it. Some of them have the best interest of the animals at heart and work toward conservation. Others, however, use animals that were captured and forced to live there in a manner not unlike a zoo. They’re harmed while being fed by tourists or struck by vehicles taking visitors through their habitats. It’s important to do your research before you contribute to one that has less than noble intentions, and when you do, it’s important to leave the animals alone. That means, Lady Gaga should have chosen something else to creep up on for her selfie opportunity.

Celebrity Selfies With Animals: Adorable or Exploitation?popcrush.com

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Her piano would be A Sharp addition to her selfie repertoire instead.

Celebrity Selfies With Animals: Adorable or Exploitation?

Khloe Kardashian: Khloe and friends don’t need to take the zoo…

Zoos are not the wholesome, family entertainment that they claim to be when you look behind the artificial habitats closely enough to see the real picture. Animals are kept in enclosures insufficient for their needs, unnerved by constant streams of onlookers all day, often removed from their family and social groups and deprived of mental stimulation. Wild animals are meant to be in the wild, not locked up in a cage for life. Khloe Kardashian’s fun outing with friends could definitely have been to a more humane location…

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A DASH down to the local coffee shop for a latte would be better.

Celebrity Selfies With Animals: Adorable or Exploitation?

 

Rhianna: Ms. Riri, pon de replay, could you leave the slow loris alone… 

Slow lorises are adorable and have thusly become a marketable tourist attraction in Thailand. Obtained for this use by poaching, they are ripped from their mothers and abused in order to be cooperative as picture props. Their teeth are pulled so they can’t bite and they are under tremendous stress from constant picture taking and handling during the day as they’re nocturnal creatures. They’re also endangered and protected, which prompted two arrests when Rhianna posted a selfie with a slow loris and an investigation revealed who was behind its use as a play-thing. If she needs a prop for her pics, she could always go back to her roots…

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 and stick with your umbrella-ella-ella?

Celebrity Selfies With Animals: Adorable or Exploitation?

Lead image source: popsugar.com